Hurricane Dorian is growing, and headed towards Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas — leaving residents in its path to weigh the odds for whether to evacuate or batten down the hatches and ride out the storm. They aren’t the only ones seeing this serious weather threat as a matter of calculations.

Where will Hurricane Dorian hit?
Hurricane Dorian is bearing down on Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, with scientists, businesses, government officials, and families trying to determine the odds of where and how hard it will hit. (Image: Tampa Bay Times)

Betting on weather is nothing new. Farmers have been doing it for centuries, and everyone from government officials and coastal businesses to news media and disaster relief agencies have long had to make predictive guesses about declaring emergencies and deploying resources when severe weather is approaching.

“Landfall means a lot of potential destruction but landfall also takes the energy out of a big storm,” Larry Evert, life-long resident of Lake City, Florida, and multiple hurricane survivor told “Still living on the coast comes with some potentially big costs.”

Already, the Orlando International Airport has declared it will close on Monday, And Saturday’s Florida State/Boise State football game, scheduled to be played on neutral turf in Jacksonville, had to be relocated to Tallahassee, making it an FSU home game. This immediately moved the odds, with the Seminoles going from -4.5 to -6 favorites.

(Florida State lost to the Broncos in an 36-31 upset.)

Hurricane Betting Futures

In the face of pending disaster with serious humanitarian consequences, dealing with hurricanes is all about odds — with scientists, economists, and politicians setting the lines and placing bets on a predictable but uncertain future event. Thus it’s hardly a surprise to see online oddsmakers follow suit.

Unofficially, opening lines are set by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, offering their best science-based predictions. In a May 23 press release, NOAA informed people that the 2019 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season, which runs from June 1-Nov. 30, would be “near normal”:

“For 2019, NOAA predicts a likely range of 9 to 15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 4 to 8 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes,” the NOAA press release said.

As Dorian heads toward land over Labor Day Weekend, here are some of the bigger hurricane futures bets that will have weather gamblers watching closely.

2019 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season Betting Odds

(Source: Sports Insider)

Total Number of Named Atlantic Storms in 2019

Over 12.5 (-180)
Under 12.5 (+150)

Current total is 4: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, and now Dorian.

Total Number of Atlantic Hurricanes in 2019

Over 6.5 (-150)
Under 6.5 (+130)

Dorian is the first hurricane of 2019.

Will a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) make landfall in the continental US during the 2019 hurricane season?

Yes +110
No -130

The Yes wager is almost certain to win come early Monday morning.

Will a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) make landfall on the east coast of the US during the 2019 hurricane season?

Yes +150
No -180

Yes wagers prepare to collect.

The highest number of Atlantic hurricane formations for 2019 will occur in which month?

June +2500 — none
July +750 – none
August +500 – none, missed by one day
September +125 – Dorian
October +250
November +500
December +2500

September is off to an early lead and sports the lowest preseason odds.

Stay safe out there Floridians and Georgians and Carolinians — only three more months to go in Hurricane Season 2019.